Bendix Model 526C Catalin Table Radio (1945/46)
The Bendix model 526C was one of 16 new
models announced before an audience of 200
distributors at a showing held in New York City
during October of 1945. The line marked the
first incursion of Bendix Aviation Corporation's
Radio Division into domestic radio production.
During WWII, they had been a manufacturer of
military avionics, but upon the conclusion of
hostilities they turned to home markets to help
keep their large and skilled workforce busy.
According to the November '45 issue of Radio
Retailing (p. 167), the line was based upon 7
chassis types built into 16 different cabinets.
The 526C was their only catalin set, with its
styling attributed to James Franklin Glover (in
design patent #146,907).
With its elegant lines and bold, contrasting
tones of ebony and marbled green, the 526C
sold well in 1946 and is a staunch favorite of
collectors today. It is one of the few catalins
that can still be bought for a reasonable price.
The AC/DC set tunes the broadcast band and
uses tubes 12SA7, 12SK7, 12SQ7, 50L6GT &
35Z5GT. The schematic is available here.
A relative of mine found this set at a moving sale in December of 2008. It was
in a dark and gloomy room and he at first passed it by as being just another
"boring brown bakelite" model. Fortunately, I got to speak with him by phone
before he left the sale! His initial assessment of it is perhaps forgivable given
its as-found condition, seen in the photo below left. Its original lustrous green
coloring had long ago faded to a drab, olive brown as a result of ultra-violet
light exposure, through a process somewhat analogous to the "rusting" of iron
when exposed to moisture. I spent several hours wet sanding and polishing
the cabinet to remove the outer layer of "rust" in order to bring back the orig-
inal glorious coloring.
The lower right photograph illustrates the disassembled cabinet. The four prin-
cipal pieces, once reassembled, are simply held together using small bolts.
For their 1947 line, Bendix continued the theme of the 526C with their models
114 and 115, constructed using polystyrene plastic.
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